Cover Image: Good and Beautiful and Kind

Good and Beautiful and Kind

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

Rich writes with the heart of a pastor. Rich challenges readers while being empathetic, kind, and wholehearted. I appreciated this book and the insight it gave. The concept of wholeness, plus the title sparked my interest. I think I had a lot of expectations, since his first book was so wonderful. This was equally as inspiring, challenging, and thought-provoking. I highlighted so much of it! I appreciated the inclusion of the topic of justice and equity - something we often skip over in white evangelical spaces. Grateful for Rich's heart and writing.
Was this review helpful?
I had read another one of Rich's books after hearing about it from my pastor. Since I enjoyed it, I decided to check this one out. I took notes throughout, finding it challenging and hopeful.
Was this review helpful?
After enjoying his first book, A Deeply Formed Life, I was thrilled to get a copy of Good and Beautiful and Kind. I believe his sophomore book is even stronger than the first. Villodas has a way of understanding the things that are lacking in life and relationships and wisely offers his wisdom on how Jesus can still be the best solution we have, His thoughts on forgiveness were so helpful. He is relevant, caring, and insightful as he reminds us to go back to practices passed through generations of Christians, This book should be an encouragement to Christians young and old,
Was this review helpful?
The quote by Langston Hughes in the epigraph gives the reason people should read this book:
"I am so tired of waiting,
Aren't you,
For the world to become good 
And beautiful and kind?
Villodas has written a hopeful book for those of us waiting.  He identifies what fractures our world and suggests ways to walk "a better way" and to embody wholeness.  I finished the book and wanted to turn around and start rereading it.  There is too much to grasp in one reading.  A book that is both soothing and challenging.
Was this review helpful?
A great book for considering the things that are holding us back from being fully human; good and beautiful and kind. Villodas gives good practical examples. I've read both books of his and always appreciate what he has to offer.
Was this review helpful?
I was so excited to read this one - I love following Rich on social media, and really enjoyed The Deeply Formed Life. Good and Beautiful and Kind provides a breath of fresh air in the evangelical space that is currently wrought with brokenness and darkness. Calling this book one that has "fresh energy, classic truth, and practical solutions" is the perfect description and I think it would be perfect for any weary, disillusioned christian that needs a breath of fresh air. Thank you, Netgalley for the ARC!
Was this review helpful?
Broken into three parts -- the forces behind the fractures, walking a better way, embodying wholeness -- Good and Beautiful and Kind seeks to highlight how these three things are disappearing around us while highlighting how we can get them back.

Over and over, I struggled to understand how the various chapters connect with one another. Of the 9 chapters, I'd say the ninth is the strongest writing and call to action. If you get lost halfway through, perhaps skip the the ninth and circle back around.
Was this review helpful?
Well done! I'm working on a more in depth review, to follow soon. 

Rich Villodas knows how to get the heart of current issues and give guidance for ways ahead, including tapping into his own wealth of personal experience, as well as clearly a well-read library. I look forward to reading some of his references as well
Was this review helpful?
I absolutely adored this book, and it was the perfect read over vacation. Rich Villodas is prophetic, profound and easy to read. His call to center ourselves on things that are good, beautiful and kind is deeply needed - and the way he paves the way is attainable for every believer. Highly recommend.
Was this review helpful?
Rich Villodas is a man who speaks with both truth and love. He masterfully navigates challenging and potentially polarizing topics and embraces the nuance required to do so. It's also evident that he deeply believes and has applied many of the principles he writes and speaks about to his own life and that his ministry is an outpouring of  a private life rooted in pursuit of God.

This book is both timeless and perfectly suited for our 2022 world. It is both theologically rich and yet profoundly practical to everyday life. I had to stop highlighting because I found myself doing so for pages at a time!

It took me a while to work through it merely because there is so much to digest. Honestly, it's one of those books that you could read every year and still walk away with new takeaways each time which, for a book about spiritual formation, is a huge commendation.

I would recommend this book to any faith-based person and am looking forward to what Rich will write next!
Was this review helpful?
Written from a Christian perspective Rich Villodas takes a seemingly overwhelming task-loving God and loving others- and breaks down the barriers to and practical steps to having a good and beautiful and kind life. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. He doesn't make light of serious issues many face in life- systemic oppression, poverty, broken relationships, etc. Dividing the book into three parts was particularly helpful for me, as was citing a variety of authors from various professions. He includes psychological principles and spirituality, acknowledging that we can receive guidance and wisdom from both.
Was this review helpful?
Having read Rich Villodas’ first book The Deeply Formed Life, I look forward to his second book and it does not disappoint, as it tackle what it means to be good, beautiful, and kind in areas of anxiety, trauma, justice, identity, forgiveness prevalent during the pandemic and shifts in Christian culture, and how to bring this renewed witness in our every day life. The church must reckon with these areas in order not just to be relevant, but be the embodiment of good News and good works of Jesus Christ in a fractured world.
Was this review helpful?
While this book didn't bring up anything that felt too new to me, it was still a good book. I think we need to hear truth over and over again, and this book certainly did that for me. This is a refreshing reminder on reconciliation, justice and what life with the Lord looks like in practical ways. I loved feeling Rich's pastoral heart through every page.
Was this review helpful?
This book was what I needed. I had been feeling spiritually disconnected and the heartfelt writing served as a reminder that I am more than my struggles and I was designed for God's love. I recommend this book to anyone needing a reminder of how very loved they are by God.
Was this review helpful?
Absolutely classic and stunning writing. In this wonderful book, by Rich Villodas, before the main themes are being examined he argues that living the way of Christ's love which is good, beautiful, and kind life does not happen overnight. The fruit of holy spirit is love- it grows slowly. There is no shortcut to love. The author has associated sin with love. He deeply takes us to the forces behind the fractures - which is failure to love is equal to sin. Then what is sin? Sin is described as images of lawbreaking, trespassing, and debt. In this book, Rich reminds us the greatest commandment of Jesus- when asked with absolute clarity Jesus responds: Love is the greatest command. You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.” Then he added, “The second important commandment: Love your neighbor as yourself. No other commandment is greater than these” (Mathew 22:37-40)

To paraphrase the old Westminster Catechism, the chief end of humanity is "to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever." The fulfillment of faith is love; sin is the negation of it. Rich, the author has explained clearly and deeply the historical and modern fractures in our world. To understand what breaks our society and sabotages the forces of our lives we need to have an understanding of both love and sin. The book is divided into three parts: In the first part, the author will "cut the world in two," exploring the ways that love, goodness, beauty and kindness get eaten from our lives and our world. The themes of sin, powers and principalities, and trauma are navigated.

In the second part, Rich focuses on how the good, beautiful, and kind life gets formed in us through contemplative prayer, humility, and the cultivation of calm presence. The final part will examine the ways all this gets embodied through healthy conflict, forgiveness, and justice.

The author points out practically and truthfully that the self giving love that stretches out to us is discovered in the cruciform love of God, in Jesus. Abide in a love that is self- giving and abundant. His is the love that forms us to become the embodiment of wholeness for a world tragically fractured and breaking apart every day. 

Thanks to Publisher WaterBrook, NetGalley and Author Rich Villodas for this advance copy in exchange of my honest review
Was this review helpful?
I have been so deeply challenged that I will need to roll back through my physical copy with several highlighters! I got an advanced reader copy and wanted to highlight a bit of the chapter that challenged me the most! 

Chapter 9 was a perfect ending to this book. I know I’m guilty of “pointing out” the injustice and putting no action to it. So while I may need to re-read and highlight, if I don’t put into action the things I’m challenged by, what’s the point? 

Growing up in white evangelical spaces, we tend to skip over justice in the way Rich describes in this chapter (this is a broad brush of course, but this has been true in the community I grew up in). 

“But being rooted in love is not to be lived out in our private lives; it’s to be demonstrated in the larger, public world we inhabit.”

“This multilayered love is the theological basis for Christian justice. Justice is not something we do after we have “loved God.” Justice is one of the primary ways to love him.”

Justice is easy to talk about when a person kills another. But when it’s systemic: that’s a whole other thing. And while I have certainly been awakened to the systemic nature of the oppression, I haven’t done enough to help counter this with real action. I’ve keyboard warriored some, but without putting feet behind my words, I fear it’s all in vain. 

The book was worth it for the last chapter, but there is so much more to it! Rich thoughtfully examines the things in our culture and the Church that needs, if it wants to continue to impact the community and culture at large. 

From the amazing foreword by Ann Voskamp, to the lovingly worded chapters that teach us how to be more Good, more Beautfiul, and more Kind, this book will be one you go back and reference as a great reminder. Can’t recommend this book enough!
Was this review helpful?
- 3.5 Stars - 

This book is a wonderful read that will make you lean back and think deeply about the way you are living your life. It makes you really reflect on how you love others, practice justice in your own life, what it means and looks like to practice good communication from a place of health and safety. This book not only makes you reflect yourself, but also gives some space for the author, Rich Villodas, to give some examples from his own life, both the good and the bad things. He spoke volumes about what it looks like to be living with/dealing with/working with/struggling through the concept of shame in our daily life. This book is one I would recommend you give a read if you need a more spiritual grounding for yourself.

Thank you, @netgalley and @waterbrookmultnomah for this advanced reader copy in exchange for my honest review! All of the thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.
Was this review helpful?
I am so grateful for the author of this book and how he continues to open himself up to be used for a higher good. I thoroughly enjoyed his freshman debut “The Deeply Formed Life”. Sophomore releases can be hit or miss, but Rich does it again with “Good and Beautiful and Kind” — I was transformed by the messages in this book. The outline really laid out a template for me to reflect on where the fractures and wounds come from in my personal life and how I can overcome them for the betterment of my community and the gritty world around me. 

If you are looking for a guide to help you wrestle with your faith when faced with the atrocities of the world all around you, this is the book for you 🙏🏽
Was this review helpful?
I can't give this book any less than 5 stars. Before I even requested this ARC from NetGalley and WaterBrook & Multnomah, I had pre-ordered it and bought it to arrive on my Kindle the minute it comes out; however, I wanted to read it as soon as possible! I have to say here at the beginning that book includes a subject I was looking for last year and could not find: how to be an unanxious presence in a very anxious world.  Villodas brings much to the table with Good and Beautiful and Kind, but this learning to be an unanxious or non-anxious presence has to be one of the major reasons for buying this book. 

I own and read The Deeply-Formed Life by Villodas so I knew I would appreciate his take on the good and beautiful and kind life. The word "kind" threw me at first because I've grown accustomed to seeing good, and beautiful, and true linked together. The title might also throw other readers who are expecting something different, maybe something light with inspirational tales of wonder. This book is not about feeling good about other people's stories of how they were good, beautiful, and kind. This book is about learning to BE good, beautiful, and kind. Ourselves doing the work, not how to get others to be good, beautiful, and kind.  This is for people who want to be transformed from the inside. Villodas is transparent in his examples from his own life. I appreciate the integrity in his writing. Even at the beginning, he gives an example where theologically his church holds to a particular historical view (cue half the crowd happy and the other half upset) followed by how the church followed the command to love in action as Jesus commands (cue first half of crowd now unhappy and the second half happy). Don't miss the wisdom in this book and the chance to grow more like Jesus: good, beautiful, and kind just because you don't agree with every word in the book. I follow an old saying when it comes to reading; Eat the meat but spit out the bones. As for me, I only mildly disagreed with one thing in the entire book. 

I am eager for my pre-ordered copy to come through on July 12 so I can actually highlight passages as I re-read it. I read this ARC from June 3 to June 16 and now I know that I also want to purchase the physical book; I'm sure I'll be re-reading this book again and again. Thanks to NetGalley and WaterBook & Multnomah for this ARC.
Was this review helpful?
This is an excellent book that dives beneath surface thinking, taking a deep look at what it means to love others, esteem others, practice justice, and communicate from a grounded perspective. "Good and Beautiful and Kind" is practical, with Rich providing transparent examples of his own life experience and failures. Having lived in Japan for over 43 years, I especially appreciated his discussion around the concept of "shame." I highly recommend you read this book!
Was this review helpful?